The Eyes Have It
He was a big inmate. Probably close to 7 feet tall. Not a thin guy either.
I walked up and down the ranges in Special Housing looking for inmates that wanted to go to recreation. Mundane as it is, it’s my job. This inmate would like to go outside, or so he says. So I open the little trap door and cuff him and his cellmate up. I signal for the door to be opened and he steps out.
All of him. Huge in sweats and tennis shoes. Next to my 4’11”.
Anyway, the door closes and I un-cuff his cellmate. I close the trap door and proceed to escort him to recreation.
Oh yes, I am his escort.
We make it down the stairs and are walking toward recreation when suddenly he jerks toward the lieutenant’s office.
And I go with him.
No, we are going to rec.
But he wants to talk to the lieutenant.
Not now. Recreation.
But he won’t move. I can’t exactly move him.
The lieutenant sees what is going on and comes out. He tells the inmate that when he is directed to go somewhere by an officer, he better go. The lieutenant refuses to hear anything the inmate has to say and tells him to go to recreation and he will speak to him there.
Reluctantly, the inmate starts moving toward recreation. I am still his escort. The lieutenant comes too. Just in case.
He is visibly upset that he didn’t get his way and is stomping his feet like a three year old. We get out to the recreation area and the rec officer opens the door for him.
He kicked it shut. And it bounced right back at him. I would have hit him right in the face if he hadn’t turned.
Of course, I was still his escort and when he turned...
BOOM! Elbow in the eye.
He realized his mistake just in time to stop himself from hitting me too hard. And slamming me into the brick wall behind me.
The lieutenant escorts him right back out of recreation.
The inmate spent the rest of the day apologizing. And apologizing. And even days later, other inmates were reminding me how sorry he was.
So very sorry.